Sunday, June 28, 2009

Robin Chase on the birth of Zipcar and the future of transportation

 Robin Chase TreeHugger image

To Robin Chase, parked cars and solo drivers just look like a great big mess of wasted capacity. It’s this kind of thinking that inspired her to start Zipcar (now the world’s largest carsharing company), and GoLoco, the Facebook of ridesharing. It’s also the kind of thinking that got her invited to speak at TED and put her on TIME’s 100 list for 2009. Chase took some time from her frenetic life to tell us about the birth of Zipcar, the progress of GoLoco, and where she’s headed next (hint: cars that talk to each other).

Listen to the podcast of this interview via iTunes, or just click here to listen, right-click to download. Music comes from Nightmares on Wax.

TreeHugger: Since starting Zipcar you've moved on to other things, but for the uninitiated, how do you describe Zipcar?

Robin Chase: This is the elevator pitch that I have probably given close to 1, 000 times, so here we go: Zipcar parks cars throughout dense metropolitan areas and university towns for people to use by the hour and by the day instead of driving their own cars. You make a reservation online or by telephone for a very specific car in a specific location and that reservation gets sent wirelessly to the car. You walk up to a car and you hold your membership card on a spot in the windshield and that unlocks the door, enables the ignition, and opens the billing record.

People drive round trip and park back in that same reserved parking space when they are done. The billing record is closed and you are all done. …

Robin Chase on the Birth of Zipcar and the Future of Transportation (Part One)

Technorati Tags:

No comments: